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Category: BRDC Formula 4

Seb MorrisBritish Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star’ Seb Morris will arrive at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent this coming weekend, 27th/28th July, determined to secure his elusive first victory in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship as the second half of the category’s inaugural season gets underway.

Marford-based Seb, who has already tasted championship success in Ginetta Junior and Protyre Formula Renault in his young career, goes into the fifth race meeting of the F4 season third in the driver standings and within just 14 points of the series lead.

With five podiums to his credit so far, the 17-year-old Ginetta Ambassador has been unsurprisingly consistent and a title threat from the opening weekend of the season where he actually topped the points table after the first three rounds.

Although some misfortune along the way has hindered his attempts to win more silverware – not least a costly non-finish in round five following a tangle with a rival when F4 last visited Brands Hatch back in May – the Welsh racer has remained squarely in the title picture throughout.

While the Indy Circuit experience at Brands Hatch earlier in the season may not have been as Seb and the Hillspeed team wanted, determination is high to battle for more podiums and mount a bid for a maiden race win as F4 visits the longer Grand Prix configuration for the first time.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to the Grand Prix circuit at Brands”, said Seb, “I won there in Formula Renault last year [en-route to claiming the Winter Series title] and it’d be great to take my first Formula 4 win there too.

“It’s been a challenging season so far, we started on the back-foot without much in the way of testing and we’ve had some problems getting the tyres switched on as well. Taking all of that into account though, we’re still in the championship top three and not far away from the lead which is a strong position to be in at the halfway point of the season.”

Since the previous three rounds at Seb’s ‘home’ track, Oulton Park, just over a fortnight ago, the Abbey Gate College student has been busy raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity as part of a 700-mile cycle ride around the circumference of Wales.

Embarking on the physically demanding journey the day after the Oulton Park race meeting, Seb, his father Phillip and best friend Matt Groome completed their challenge within nine days and have, to date, managed to raise 165% of their target total – equating to almost £1,200 for GOSHCC.

“We had an amazing time during the cycle ride, it was unbelievably challenging – especially in such hot weather – but a real achievement”, added the Welshman, “On behalf of my dad and Matt, we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated money to Great Ormond Street. We’re all hugely grateful and delighted we could do our bit for such an amazing charity.”

Anyone who would like to make a post-cycle ride donation to this most worthwhile of causes is welcome to visit http://www.justgiving.com/SebMorris-MattGroome

Returning to Formula 4, free practice and qualifying will take place at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday, 27th July, with round 13 following at 16.45. On Sunday, 28th July, round 14 is scheduled to start at 10.45 with round 15 expected to commence at 14.50. Television highlights of the Brands Hatch races will be screened the following Sunday, 4th August, at 18.00 on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd12):
3rd Seb Morris, 198pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Seb MorrisSeb Morris delivered an expectedly consistent showing on home soil at Oulton Park International Circuit on Saturday, 6th July, to retain his hard-earned position in the top three of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings and secure his fifth podium of the season in the process.

Qualifying within just 0.3 seconds of pole position for the first of three races at his local track, which were all packed into one day, the Marford 17-year-old began round 10 from the second row of the grid and after a good start he maintained position well.

In touch with the podium battle, Seb pressured third place runner Jake Hughes but on lap two both were elevated a position when Raoul Hyman slipped from second to fourth at Hislops after running wide off the circuit.

Remaining third from that point forward, the Ginetta Ambassador saw off a late challenge from Ross Gunn to make his fifth visit of 2013 to the Formula 4 podium and keep his championship challenge well on course. Post-race, Seb received his round 10 silverware from British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) member, and former Isle of Man TT and RAC Tourist Trophy winner, Stuart Graham.

Starting round 11 from sixth on the grid, due to the top eight finishers from the opening race of each BRDC Formula 4 race weekend being ‘reversed’ to form the upper order of the race two grid, the Welsh ace made another clean getaway and ran in sixth until lap four when he gained two places.

As Matty Graham and Ross Gunn contested third position, the pair made contact at Old Hall giving Seb a golden opportunity to slice past into the top four. Initially in touch to challenge for the podium again, during the closing stages of the race the Hillspeed driver had to instead focus on fending off the ever-present attentions of the recovering Gunn which he managed expertly despite tyre issues.

Round 12 delivered another third row start for Seb but after holding sixth place for the first three laps, he was elbowed back to seventh on the fourth tour. Repelling a further attack from James Fletcher as the race neared its conclusion, the Abbey Gate College student held seventh to the flag.

Underlining the importance of front-running consistency, Seb’s hat-trick of strong points finishes this weekend means he stays third in the championship standings – just eight points shy of second place and only 14 points away from the series lead.

“I’m quite satisfied with our weekend”, commented Seb, “We were strong in qualifying and carried that through to the races with three consistently good performances. We’re still not quite where we want to be, or should be, but to stay third in the points and take another podium is great. From now on our testing schedule picks up, so we should be stronger still at Brands Hatch later this month.”

Straight from this weekend’s races, Seb returned home to Marford in readiness for the start of a challenging 700-mile cycle ride around the circumference of Wales along with his father Phillip and best friend Matt Groome. The trio will be raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity – to lend your support please visit http://www.justgiving.com/SebMorris-MattGroome

Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent will host rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season three weeks from now on 27th/28th July. Television coverage of the Oulton Park races will be screened on ITV4 next Sunday, 14th July, from 18.00.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd12):
3rd Seb Morris, 198pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Jack BarlowJack Barlow delivered a remarkable performance on his maiden visit to Oulton Park International Circuit in Cheshire on Saturday, 6th July, by claiming his second BRDC Formula 4 Championship race victory of the season for SWR – having earlier secured his first ever pole position start in cars.

Despite having never seen the challenging track prior to pre-event testing on Friday, 5th July, the Hastings youngster shone in qualifying by taking the top spot on the grid for round 10 with a best lap of 1m37.702 seconds (99.19mph). Netting the win with a faultless lights-to-flag drive, Barlow added seventh place in round 11 and fourth in round 12 to move into the coveted championship top six.

Team-mate Matty Graham was also consistently strong and competitive throughout the fourth race meeting of the year. Hopes of a podium finish in the second of the day’s encounters, though, were ended on lap four of the race at Old Hall following contact from a rival while running in third place.

Finishing in the top six in rounds 10 and 12, however, enabled the Edmundbyers teenager to conclude the Oulton Park weekend equal ninth in the title race for Chipping Norton-based SWR, tied on points with the experienced James Fletcher.

“It’s been a very strong weekend for SWR, we’re delighted to be back on the top step of the podium with Jack”, said team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “He’d never even seen the track before Friday and even though he had a big shunt in testing, he bounced back amazingly to take his first pole and then win the first race – it was a fantastic performance.

“Matty was very strong and consistent all weekend, he really did deserve a podium and was very unlucky not to get one after the contact in race two. Even so, two top sixes in the other races have kept him in the championship top 10 which is obviously important.”

With qualifying and all three Oulton Park races taking place on one day, the action was hectic for the teams and competitors. Everything started brilliantly for SWR though with Barlow claiming his maiden pole and Graham lapping just 0.5 seconds shy to secure a row four start for round 10.

Making a good getaway, Barlow maintained first place on the run into Old Hall and was never under any real threat throughout the 12 lap duration as he took the win 1.2 seconds to the good. Graham, meanwhile, maintained eighth position early on before climbing into seventh on lap five and then taking sixth next time around.

With the top eight finishers of race one ‘reversed’ on the grid for round 11, Graham lined-up in third position with Barlow on row four. Holding on to their respective places for the first third of the encounter, on lap four everything went awry for Graham when his bid for a podium finish came to an abrupt end in the tyre barriers at the first corner following a tangle with Ross Gunn.

Barlow, therefore, inherited seventh place and ran in a tight quartet of cars all contesting fourth position. Running closely behind Jake Hughes lap after lap, the SWR man just couldn’t quite force the mistake he needed and was seventh at the flag – less than a second outside the top four.

For round 12, Barlow started in third place – by virtue of having set the third fastest racing lap of the weekend up to that point – with Graham in eighth position. Although slipping to fourth on the first lap, Barlow held station for the remainder of the 12 lap contest despite some intense pressure from Raoul Hyman and the second SWR car of Graham.

Having moved into seventh on lap one, Graham challenged hard for the top six and made his move on lap three to take the position from erstwhile championship leader Seb Morris. Then setting his sights on Hyman, the karting graduate had to be satisfied with sixth with no further opportunities to try and make more gains opening up.

Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent will host rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season three weeks from now on 27th/28th July. Chinese driver Zou Sirui, who wasn’t in action at Oulton Park this weekend due to a clashing racing commitment in his homeland, will bring the SWR attack back up to three cars for the fifth event of the campaign.

2013 Provisional BRDC Formula 4 Championship Driver Standings (after Rd12):
6th Jack Barlow, 183pts; =9th Matty Graham & James Fletcher, 140pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Matty Graham - SWROxfordshire motor racing team SWR is setting its sights on three consistently strong results when the BRDC Formula 4 Championship resumes at Oulton Park this coming Saturday, 6th July, where the front-running squad will be striving to get its 2013 season back on track during rounds 10, 11 and 12.

Suffering a major dose of bad luck at Snetterton a fortnight ago, Matty Graham, Jack Barlow and Zou Sirui – who won’t be in action at the weekend due to a clashing commitment at home in China – all got caught-up in unfortunate incidents.

With Barlow and Graham slipping down the championship standings to seventh and ninth position respectively as a result, the Chipping Norton team is determined to reignite its charge and mount a bid for a return to the podium.

So far during its maiden season SWR has enjoyed great success, having claimed its first victory with Hastings driver Barlow in only the second race of the campaign at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit before Edmundbyers teenager Graham secured his debut podium in round three at the squad’s ‘home’ track. SWR is, therefore, confident normal service will be resumed in Cheshire on Saturday.

“Snetterton really was a very tough weekend for a variety of reasons”, commented team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “That’s in the past though, we’re all focused on Oulton Park and confident we can get back into the podium battle there.

“The whole team has done a fantastic job so far this season and Matty had a very good test at Oulton last Friday, so that’s given us a boost ahead of this weekend. Formula 4 is tough, there are some strong, experienced racers at the front, but if all goes smoothly next weekend we’re certain we can be consistently back at the sharp end in all three races.”

Helping SWR’s bid for a successful outing at Oulton Park International Circuit will be new sponsor Saka Natural Mineral Water, one of the country’s fastest-growing water brands, which recently agreed a deal to become an official team drinks partner alongside Mad Dog Energy Lemonade.

All of the Formula 4 action at Oulton Park will take place on Saturday, 6th July, with qualifying set to begin at 08.40 and rounds 10, 11 and 12 set to follow at 11.40, 14.30 and 18.00 respectively.

2013 Provisional BRDC Formula 4 Championship Driver Standings (after Rd9):
7th Jack Barlow, 121pts; 9th Matty Graham, 110pts; Zou Sirui – Does Not Score

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Seb Morris (No.31) - Formula 4Marford’s Seb Morris will head to his ‘home’ track, Oulton Park near Chester, this coming Saturday, 6th July, for the fourth race meeting of the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship season where he is determined to maintain his top three position in the driver standings.

As the only event this year where all of the track activity will take place on a single day, the Ginetta Ambassador knows consistency and a measured approach to the weekend’s racing will be absolutely vital in avoiding trouble and securing strong finishes in rounds 10, 11 and 12.

Having begun the year very impressively with three podium finishes at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, since then the 17-year-old has encountered a fair amount of misfortune – not least at Brands Hatch in May when he was pitched into a hefty accident by a rival and a resulting non-finish.

Last time out at Snetterton, though, Seb made a welcome and deserved return to the rostrum and goes into the Oulton Park race meeting third in the title battle just 15 points behind second place and only 18 points shy of the championship lead.

“It’s still wide open”, he commented, “We’ve got a lot of races left and although Jake [Dalton] and Charlie [Robertson] are a bit ahead I’m hopeful we can cling on to them at Oulton, then we should be able to start attacking more when our testing schedule ramps up after next weekend. Our lack of testing compared to the others has held us back a bit, but we’re still in a decent position.

“Oulton is my favourite track, it’s a lot like Silverstone GP in that the driver can make a big difference and really get the most out of their package. Unless we hit problems in qualifying, and start further back than we’d like, then I’m sure we can have a strong weekend and take away plenty of points.”

Ahead of this coming Saturday’s event, Seb has received a welcome boost in the form of a brand new sponsor – Warrington-based Cable Systems Ltd. Run by Directors Helen and Jonathan Rigby, the business is a key supplier of specialist equipment to the Hazardous Area Industry and the Industrial Electrical Market.

“I really am looking forward to racing on home ground at Oulton and it’s fantastic to be able to welcome Cable Systems Ltd onboard as a new sponsor”, added Seb, “Hopefully we can celebrate a successful first weekend together.”

Immediately following the Oulton Park event Seb, his father Phillip and best friend Matt Groome will embark on a major test of endurance with a 700-mile cycle ride around the circumference of Wales, hugging the border with England and then the Welsh coastline as closely as possible.

Setting off from Wrexham on Sunday, 7th July, the trio will travel south towards Kilpeck, Caerleon and Burry Port and then across to St David’s and Aberaeron. Next, they will head up to Aberdovey, Nefyn and Cemaes Bay in Anglesey before making the journey home.

Returning to this weekend’s Formula 4 action, qualifying for rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the season is set to begin at 08.40 on Saturday, 6th July, with the three races following at 11.40, 14.30 and 18.00. Television highlights of the event will be screened on ITV4 on Sunday, 14th July, at 18.00.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd9):
3rd Seb Morris, 146pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

MSA AcademyChampionship-winning racing driver Seb Morris is to appear on the Sky Sports F1 Channel tomorrow evening, Thursday, 27th June, as part of a special feature filmed at Daytona Sandown Park earlier this week with the MSA Academy.

Welsh 17-year-old Seb, who currently competes in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, joined fellow MSA (Motor Sports Association) supported competitors and drivers from the GP2 Series and GP3 Series for a piece filmed with Sky Sports F1 pundit, and former Grand Prix winner, Johnny Herbert.

Set to be broadcast in the ‘F1 Show’ programme at 20.00 tomorrow night on Sky Sports F1, the feature will shine the spotlight on Marford-based Seb and his peers as they take part in a kart race at the Surrey track organised by the MSA Academy.

“It was really good to join-up with some top drivers from GP2 and GP3 and all be on track racing at the same time – it gives you a good benchmark”, said Seb, “The highlight for me was an amazing battle with Mr Johnny Herbert himself, we were dicing together for several laps and we had a nice handshake as we went over the finish line which was great.

“I had a good half-hour chat with him, he gave some pointers about how to approach racing and the sort of things he’d done to prepare during his career. It really was a fantastic day and I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the MSA Academy and, of course, Johnny Herbert.”

Seb, who won the Ginetta Junior Winter Series title in 2010, the main Ginetta Junior Championship in 2011 and the Protyre Formula Renault Winter Series crown in 2012, is now busy preparing for the fourth event of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season which will take place at his ‘home’ track, Oulton Park International Circuit in Cheshire, next Saturday, 6th July.

Photo by MSA Academy.

Seb Morris - Snetterton PodiumErstwhile BRDC Formula 4 Championship leader Seb Morris made a welcome return to the podium at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk over the weekend, 15th/16th June, with his fourth rostrum visit of the 2013 season during round seven of the campaign.

On a weekend of high drama, and with several drivers punished for a range of indiscretions, the Marford 17-year-old added two further top four results in rounds eight and nine on Sunday to climb back into the championship top three – just 18 points shy of the lead.

“We’re definitely moving in the right direction with the car”, said Seb, “We’re still playing catch-up a bit with our lack of seat time compared to the others, we just need some more testing and we’ll be properly on it. The overall balance of the car has been good this weekend, our tyre pressures were a bit too low in Sunday’s races but other than that it’s been quite good and we scored decent points.”

Qualifying on Saturday morning was affected by rain and as the track got quicker towards the end of the session, the times at the front were incredibly tight – Seb ending the session sixth fastest but only 0.4 seconds shy of pole position.

Making a great start to round seven, the Hillspeed driver surged into the top three and ran close behind Matt Bell before the latter went off the circuit on the third tour – promoting Seb into second place. Although slipping to third position on lap five, the Ginetta Ambassador remained there to the chequered flag on lap 10 to make a deserved return to the podium.

Lining-up sixth on the ‘reverse grid’ for round eight on Sunday morning, Seb challenged for fifth at the start on the outside at Riches before the action was halted by red flags on lap two following a multi-car tangle.

Resulting in a completely fresh start over a shortened distance of eight laps, Seb ran in fourth place throughout and had to work hard to fend off challenges from Jake Hughes and Charlie Robertson, which he did to the finish to secure another strong haul of points.

Beginning round nine in fifth place, the Abbey Gate College student immediately grabbed fourth into Riches after a great launch from the third row of the grid but was elbowed back to fifth shortly after. Shuffled down to sixth, as he battled initially with a lack of grip, Seb got into his stride from mid-distance and piled on the pressure to championship rival Jake Dalton.

Although remaining in sixth to the chequered flag on lap 10, Seb was later elevated two positions in the final classification when the race winner and second placed competitor were excluded due to technical infringements.

“We definitely scored some good points this weekend, which is what we need to keep doing”, said Seb, “We need to keep moving forward and we aim to be fighting for pole position at Oulton Park in a few weeks’ time. It’s the home round for me, so I’m really looking forward to it and hoping to try and take our first win of the season.”

Next on the calendar for Seb will be the visit to Oulton Park in Cheshire for a one-day BRDC Formula 4 Championship race meeting on Saturday, 6th July.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd9):
3rd Seb Morris, 146pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Seb Morris - Formula 4Hillspeed’s Seb Morris is resolutely committed to getting his BRDC Formula 4 Championship title challenge firmly back on track at Snetterton 300 Circuit this weekend, 15th/16th June, when rounds seven, eight and nine take place at the East Anglian venue.

Following one of the most trying race meetings of his motor racing career three weeks ago at Brands Hatch, which included a hefty accident in round five from which he thankfully emerged unharmed, the erstwhile F4 points leader slipped to sixth in the championship standings.

Having begun the inaugural season of BRDC Formula 4 in late-April with three outstanding podium finishes at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, 17-year-old Seb confirmed his undoubted title credentials from the off by taking the early season initiative.

But while the incident-filled Brands Hatch weekend was very costly in terms of his championship position, the Marford racer knows three consistently strong points results – preferably podiums – will help undo some of the damage as he strives to climb back up the table.

“Brands Hatch was a really tough weekend, one to forget really”, said the Ginetta Ambassador, “We didn’t have any testing beforehand, unlike most of the others, so we had a fight on our hands right from the word go.

“It was a bit of a nightmare to be honest but that’s in the past, I’m looking ahead to Snetterton now and aiming to get back on the podium and move back up the championship. We’ve still got work to do in getting the most from the Yokohama tyres, especially in qualifying, but as long as we can start on the first couple of rows we know we’ve got the race pace to be a factor.”

Despite a difficult qualifying run at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit last time out, Seb was able to climb through from 13th position to ninth in the first race but it was the contact from a rival in the second encounter which had the biggest impact.

With a true race against time to repair the Welshman’s F4-013 in time for the final race of the event, the Hillspeed team worked miracles. While the car was a real handful, due to the limitations of what could be achieved in the short gap between races, Seb battled against the odds and managed to take away some championship points – which could prove absolutely crucial at the end of the year.

“My main aim at the weekend is to close back in on the guys ahead of me in the championship, but I’ll be pushing hard for three podiums and I really do want to get my first win in F4”, he added, “That’s more important than ever now, we need to score as many points as we can. I’ve won at Snetterton in both Ginetta Juniors and Formula Renault so I’d like to add F4 to that list as well!”

Qualifying for rounds seven, eight and nine at Snetterton 300 Circuit will get underway at 10.15 on Saturday, 15th June, with the first race of the weekend following at 14.45. On Sunday, 16th June, the second encounter will begin at 10.00 with round nine wrapping-up the action at 14.15.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd6):
6th Seb Morris, 90pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Jake DaltonThe BRDC Formula 4 championship is proving to be an exciting, close-fought series with drivers and their teams having to be on their mettle in every race. Perhaps this explains why MGR and Jake Dalton left Brands Hatch (19 May) with an extended lead in the points table.

His margin of victory may have been barely two car-lengths as he crossed the finishing line, but it was enough to put Jake ahead in the new championship and give his team the psychological upper hand at the DTM meeting. To make his success all the more memorable, Dalton was handed his silverware by none other than 1996 Formula One World Champion, Damon Hill.

Jake secured pole position with a superb run in timed qualifying and capitalised on his grid advantage by rocketing off the line to lead the 24-strong pack into Paddock Hill Bend. Despite coming under huge pressure from behind, Dalton was never headed to seal a perfect lights-to-flag victory.

Diego Menchaca was narrowly pipped to a top ten finish, taking whilst Pietro Fittipaldi also overcame the gearbox 11th problems that had wrecked his qualifying chances, to secure 13th spot.

Sunday’s first of two races, gave the large crowd a real treat. The challenging nature of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and its lack of clear overtaking points, inevitably led to drama and incidents. The Safety Car was required when a car became stranded against the pit wall at the exit of Clearways.

Having started 8th – courtesy of the top eight finishing places in Race One being reversed for the start of Race Two – Jake made up ground to eventually finish fifth, maintaining his championship lead.

Diego enjoyed a strong drive to 8th place, claiming that position with an incisive move at the exit of Clearways, having lined up Jack Barlow for the pass at Surtees.

Sadly Pietro’s race ended in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, as a result of front wing damage sustained earlier in the race and further damage occurring to his car’s left-front suspension and left-hand sidepod in the second incident. On its arrival at the MGR awning, the team sprang into action, facing the seemingly impossible task of repairing the car. Mark Godwin’s entire squad were joined by Jake’s father and Pietro himself to get the Brazilian youngster onto the grid for Race Two – and they did it, with just seconds to spare.

A fighting 2nd was just reward for a mature drive by Jake in the weekend’s third and final race. Although clearly frustrated that his older rubber was unable to match the pace of winner Charlie Robertson’s fresh tyres, Jake acknowledged the positives: “I got a good start from fourth and (Raoul) Hyman made a mistake at Paddock (Hill Bend) and I punished him at Druids. My thanks go to everyone at MGR who made such a big effort this weekend.”

British DTM stars Andy Priaulx and Gary Paffett were enthusiastic spectators of the two BRDC F4 races and so were enthusiastic presenters of the trophies Dalton and his fellow podium winners.

Jake’s result extended his points advantage, but with the field so close and four different winners from the six opening races it is too early to talk about the title: “I’m not thinking about points or championships,” he said, “I’m taking each race as it comes.”

Discounting the widely held theory that overtaking would prove difficult in the aerodynamically sensitive cars, Diego enjoyed a storming drive. The Mexican teenager started from eighteenth place and carved his way up to 9th place at the finish.

In contrast to the fortunes of his team-mates, Pietro was again reduced to the role of a spectator after being hit off the circuit in a reckless challenge. During the second lap, Fittipaldi was up into the top four having started seventh but an over-zealous lunge by Struan Moore destroyed his right-rear suspension and driveshaft. “A driver locked up his tires behind me and used me as his stop!” he tweeted afterwards.

MGR owner and Team Principal Mark Godwin shared his driver’s displeasure: “It was immensely frustrating to see Pietro’s race end so early, particularly after the mammoth effort that went into repairing the car from the previous race and it looked liked Pietro was shaping up for a good result as well. I think he dealt with the disappointment better than I did, which shows his level of professionalism at such an early stage. I was appreciative of the offending driver coming up during the race to apologise and it was clear to see he was quite upset about it. Diego had a strong weekend of racing and I think if we hadn’t had the gear selection problems in qualifying, the weekend could have had delivered so much more. However, the pace and potential is there and it’s only a matter of time before Pietro and Diego start to compete regularly at the front.”

He added: “Jake had a great weekend and came away with some really solid points on his first ever visit to the Kent circuit. It’s clear to see that this championship is going to be very hard fought, but I’m very encouraged by our progress to date, particularly as we started on the back foot before Brands, with only half an hour of dry running. The team is really looking forward to the next race at Snetterton, as recent testing there showed good pace and I know there is still much more performance in the car to unlock”

Rounds 7, 8 and 9 take place at Snetterton on 15/16 June, supporting the British GT Championship.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings after Rd6: 1st Jake Dalton, 139pts; 9 Pietro Fittipaldi, 31pts

For more information visit about the team, please visit www.mgrmotorsport.co.uk . You can also follow us on twitter – @mgrmotorsport – and like our Facebook fan page – MGR Motorsport

Hillspeed's Seb MorrisDerbyshire motor racing team Hillspeed suffered a costly outing over the weekend, 18th/19th May, during the second event of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit where an incident-filled race meeting wrecked the squad’s hopes of retaining the series lead.

Arriving at the 1.2-mile Kent track with Seb Morris heading the title race after a podium hat-trick on the opening weekend at the end of April, the Hathersage squad encountered a difficult event from the off with qualifying not going according to plan and setting the scene for three tough races.

Morris was the best of the Hillspeed qualifiers for round four, albeit with an uncharacteristic ninth fastest time in Saturday’s session, while team-mates Struan Moore and Rahul Raj Mayer were 16th and 22nd quickest respectively.

Welsh teenager Morris made a sensational start to the first of the weekend’s races and brilliantly sliced his way through into ninth but wasn’t able to make any further inroads thereafter with passing opportunities nigh-on impossible.

Moore, meanwhile, climbed into 15th position on the opening lap and continued his strong rate of progress to move into the top 12 a couple of laps later. From there though, the Jersey youngster spent the remainder of the race running in the midst of the tightly packed five car battle headed by Morris. Moore did, though, post a best lap time just 0.1 seconds off the fastest of all.

Mayer held 22nd position for some time before slipping to 23rd late on but the Malaysian made a marked improvement in round five on Sunday where he raced to a strong 17th place. He did climb as high as 14th position but was shuffled back during the latter stages.

For Morris and Moore, round five turned into a nightmare with both getting caught-up in the same incident at the end of lap four. As Morris battled hard to retain ninth ahead of Jack Barlow, the pair touched on the run into the pit-straight as Morris moved across to take the racing line – the resulting spin for the Hillspeed driver leaving his car prone on the track against the pitwall.

Thankfully avoided by the next group of cars, Morris had to retire on the spot while Moore had to take evasive action across the grass on the outside when almost collected by a rival. Although able to recover to the track, Moore thumped through an advertising hoarding heavily and the damage to the front of his car meant he also had to retire a few laps later.

Working incredibly hard to repair the two cars in time for round six, with only 90 minutes or so in which to turn them around, the Hillspeed mechanics did a superb job and Morris was able to work his way through from 17th on the grid into 13th position. Moore, meanwhile, was forced to retire with yet more damage on lap four while Mayer posted a 19th place finish.

“It really has been an incredibly tough weekend, certainly one we’d like to forget”, commented team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “We haven’t done the amount of testing the others have been doing which put the drivers on the back foot a bit going into the weekend.

“We’re disappointed for Seb and Struan, especially with both of them losing points finishes in race two, although Rahul did make strong progress on his first time racing at Brands Hatch. All in all, a very tough weekend but one we will all bounce back from.”

The BRDC Formula 4 Championship now takes a four week break from action with the third event of 2013 taking place on 15th/16th June at Snetterton in East Anglia. In the meantime, Hillspeed’s Protyre Formula Renault Championship squad will be back on track for the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds of its season on 1st/2nd June at Thruxton in Hampshire.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd6):
6th Seb Morris, 90pts; 16th Struan Moore, 36pts; 19th Rahul Raj Mayer, 22pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.